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EnthusiastsGo Ahead, Guess What This Thing Is

01:00  07 december  2018
01:00  07 december  2018 Source:   jalopnik.com

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Go to permalink. Is there anything better than a really mysterious, baffling car? No, there isn’t. Every time you think there’s nothing left to learn about the It appears smallish, a sporty coupé of some sort. Styling has the sharper creases of a car from the early-to-mid 1960s, I’d guess . It’s quite clean and

See that rusty hunk of crap up there? It's a subassembly, with drivetrain of a particular vehicle. Can you name the vehicle this thing is from? Toggle Conversation tools. Go to permalink. Let's end the week on a silly little quiz, why not? Aw, come on, it'll be fun. Okay. See that rusty hunk of crap up there?

Go Ahead, Guess What This Thing Is

Is there anything better than a really mysterious, baffling car? No, there isn’t. Every time you think there’s nothing left to learn about the rich tapestry of automobilia, something like this sleek lovely little whatever drives up, honks, and lets you know how wrong you are. So what is this thing? I’ll give you a clue: it’s Japanese.

Here’s a pic of the front so you can get a better sense of what’s going on:

Go Ahead, Guess What This Thing Is

Okay, let’s look at this thing carefully and see what we can determine. It’s got a novel glass or plexiglass roof panel, that’s interesting. There doesn’t appear to be much of a grille, but, at the same time, there don’t seem to be any air intake vents on the rear. Maybe it’s rear-engined? Maybe it’s pulling cooling air in below the bumper, like a Citroën DS?

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Yes, under that 1980 Austin Allegro body beats the air-cooled heart of an old Volkswagen Beetle. Actually, it’s the whole chassis, not just the engine, so maybe it’s beats the heart and resides the, um, musculoskeletal system?

That means when spur gears mesh with one another, each tooth essentially slams into another tooth on the other gear as they mesh, because they don’t have the same buttery-smooth engagement as helical gears. When those straight-cut teeth make contact, they impact and make a little sound.

It appears smallish, a sporty coupé of some sort. Styling has the sharper creases of a car from the early-to-mid 1960s, I’d guess. It’s quite clean and striking and lovely, I think.

Those wheels, though, and those hubcaps. They look familiar, right? And this is from Japan? It actually seems a bit big for what most of the Japanese carmakers were building in that era, doesn’t it?

Give up? Well, too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway: this lovely little thing is a Yanase YX1200, what I think is the only example of a sort-of production Japanese car built on a Volkswagen Beetle chassis.

Yep, that’s right, the YX1200 is yet another star in the vast galaxy of Weird Sh*t Built on a Volkswagen Chassis.

Yanase was an early and yet strangely little-known (at least in the West) Japanese carmaker. The company built their first car in 1922, and prior to that was GM’s exclusive agent to sell Chevrolets, Buicks, and Cadillacs in Japan.

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See those two cars there? One’s a thick, dripping slice of American muscle car, designed to murder tires and peel out of Dairy Queens. The other is a clever and boxy little Italian hatchback with an engine that could likely be overpowered by the other car’s starter motor. Two cars can’t really be much more

The things I’m referring to are those reflective panels, made of the same plastics and colors as a car’s taillights, that fill in the rear body section between the separate lights to give the illusion of one long, contiguous taillamp unit. Go Ahead , Guess What This Thing Is .

In 1952 Yanase became the first post-war company to import foreign cars into Japan again, and soon after Yanase began to import Volkswagens into Japan. That’s how the YX1200 came to be.

From 1964 to 1965, you could order a Volkswagen from Yanase with a custom, sporty body—that’s our mystery car here, the YX1200. The name comes from the 1200cc engine the Beetle was using at the time, which informs the performance capabilities of the YX1200, which at 40 horsepower, mean that the YX1200 is more like VW’s own Karmann-Ghia: more show than go.

Still, it is a nice show, and this may be one of the most striking VW-based sporty cars that I’ve seen. I’m not sure where the engine is drawing its cooling air, but I suspect there may be some under-car intake scoops of some kind, which suggests some pretty careful design work on Yanase’s part.

A number of these were built and sold, but I have yet to be able to find out how many.

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Go to permalink. Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you necessarily should. Hence the curious lack of venison-flavored gum with an appletini-and-wasabi center. Go Ahead , Guess What This Thing Is . Jason Torchinsky.

That 's a lot of euphemisms for one of the most practical body styles around. It seems that the very first vehicles we'd recognize as being station wagons were largely custom wooden-bodied variants of Model Ts, and were known as " depot hacks " because they were Go Ahead , Guess What This Thing Is .

Go Ahead, Guess What This Thing Is

Yanase had built and sold more traditionally mid-century Japanese cars as well before the likely higher-end YX1200, including this charming little 1957 YX360, named for the 360cc engine size that would allow this little car to fit in with the first generation of Kei-class cars.

The YX360 used an air-cooled, horizontally-opposed flat-twin driving the front wheels, and seems to have been a hatchback design, which was very advanced for the era. I think it may be using a Beetle windshield, but I’m not entirely certain.

So, there you go—yet another strange VW-based something, and made even stranger by its Japanese origins. You can now enter your weekend with the cool aplomb of someone who’s learned something wonderful and deeply important.

Enjoy.

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